ALEXANDER S. KRAMER
For more than fifty years Alexander S. Kramer, one of Tulare county's best known citizens and most substantial
landowners, has been a resident of the Earlimart neighborhood and he thus has been a witness to the amazing development
that has been brought about there and throughout this section of the valley during the past half century and more.
One of the homesteaders in this county, Mr. Kramer brought his original land holdings up to a high state of development
and improvement, and as his affairs prospered he gradually added to these holdings until now he is the owner of
about a thousand acres of choice valley land. From the beginning of his agricultural operations here he gave particular
attention to sheep raising, a line which he has kept up, long having been recognized as one of the leading sheep
men hereabout, and at times his flocks have numbered no fewer than ten thousand. Diligent in his own affairs, Mr.
Kramer has acquired a quite substantial estate, for many years being regarded as one of the county's most dependable
citizens. He also has done well his part in the public service and when in 1907 the county grand jury found it
necessary to appoint a committee to have charge of the erection of a much needed addition to the courthouse he
was made the chairman of that committee and in that capacity rendered a real public service. An ardent republican,
Mr. Kramer has for many years taken an active and helpful interest in local political affairs, is one of the leaders
of his party in this county, and in 1902 he was a delegate to the state convention of that party which nominated
Dr. Pardee for the office of governor. A member of the Masonic order for many years, Mr. Kramer has the high honor
of being an honorary life member of the association of Masonic Veterans of the Pacific Coast, a distinction of
no mean quality and a convincing attestation of the high esteem in which he is held in that fraternity.
Alexander S. Kramer is a native of the old Keystone state and a member of one of the sterling old colonial families
of Dutch stock that gave such a distinctive quality to the social order in many sections of Pennsylvania during
settlement days and which persists in certain sections there to this day. He was born in the city of Norristown,
Montgomery county, in the eastern part of Pennsylvania, August 23, 1853, a son of Jacob and Levina (Sames) Kramer,
both members of old families of the Pennsylvania-Dutch stock in that part of the state. Jacob Kramer was a well
to do citizen of Norristown and when the Civil war came on he went out as a soldier of the Union in one of the
Pennsylvania regiments. His father, whose name likewise was Jacob was a soldier of the War of 1812 and the latter's
father, also Jacob, was a soldier of the patriot army during the war of the Revolution. Reared at Norristown, A.
S. Kramer had his initial schooling there and he has ever retained a pleasant recollection of the fact that his
first school teacher was the mother of General Winfield Scott Hancock, she by that time being well along in years
and nearing the close of a long term of useful teaching service. Mr. Kramer supplemented his local schooling by
two years of study at Muhlenburg College, Allentown, Pennsylvania, and then served an apprenticeship to the stonecutter's
trade, becoming an experienced worker in stone, and was thus engaged until he had attained his majority, when he
wisely decided to come to California.
It was in the spring of 1874 that Mr. Kramer arrived in California. For a few months thereafter he worked at his
trade as a stonecutter in San Francisco and then he came to the conclusion that the real wealth and the real opportunities
for a young man lay in the land. After some investigation he homesteaded a tract of land in what is now the Earlimart
neighborhood, then known as Alila, in Tulare county, and settled down to prove up on the place. After he had acquired
title to the land he extended his operations by buying an adjacent tract and in 1878 began raising sheep, a line
in which he became quite successful. After his marriage in the fall of 1889 he established his home on this place
and has ever since resided here, in the meantime developing a fine piece of property and creating one of the most
pleasant home establishments in the whole region. As noted above, Mr. Kramer now has approximately a thousand acres
of land and is still actively engaged in the sheep business, making this latter phase of his agricultural operations
his chief interest.
It was on October 16, 1889, in Tulare county, that A. S. Kramer was united in marriage to Miss Bertha Francis Zimmermann,
who had come here with her parents from San Francisco about three years prior to that date, the Zimmermanns becoming
substantial pioneers of the Earlimart neighborhood. Mrs. Kramer was born in the city of San Francisco, a daughter
of Henry and Eliza (Widemann) Zimmermann, the latter of whom was a daughter of John Widemann, a native of Germany
and one of the California '49ers, who became a prominent merchant in San Francisco in settlement days. Henry Zimmermann,
who established his home in Tulare county in 1886, came into California in 1852 and thus had a part in pioneer
development work in this state. Mr. and Mrs. Kramer have three sons: Alexander Jacob, Clarence A. and Herbert H.
Kramer. The last named takes an active part in the operations of the home place. All three were graduated from
the high school and had a course in Heald's Business College. The two elder sons are veterans of the World war.
Alexander J. Kramer, who is now making his home at Bakersfield, served in the aviation corps of the army and was
for more than a year in service overseas. Clarence A. Kramer, who also is now living at Bakersfield, was a student
in California University when this country took a hand in the World war in 1917. He left the university to enlist
and was assigned to service in the navy as a radio electrician.
The Kramers are republicans and have ever taken an interested and helpful part in local civic affairs. Both Mr.
and Mrs. Kramer have from time to time served as trustees of the local school board and each has served as secretary
of that board. Both are members of the Delano chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star, Mrs. Kramer being twice
past matron of the chapter and Mr. Kramer thrice past patron. He is a past worshipful master of Delano Lodge No.
309, F. and A. M., is a Knight Templar (York Rite) Mason, connected with the commandery at Visalia, and he is also
a Noble of the Mystic Shrine, affiliated with Islam temple at San Francisco. By reason of his many years of active
service in the Masonic fraternity Mr. Kramer in 1906 was made an honorary life member of the Masonic Veterans of
the Pacific Coast, as has been noted above. In point of continuous residence Mr. and Mrs. Kramer very properly
may lay claim to the distinction of being the "deans" of the Earlimart community, the seniors of the
original homesteaders now living there. Mrs. Kramer homesteaded a tract of land in the adjacent county of Kern
when she came here as a young woman with her parents in the middle '80s and thus knows all about the trials of
pioneer life, both she and her husband having many interesting stories to tell of those days of development.
History of Tulare County, California
By: Kathleen Edwards Small
Kings County, California
By: J. Larry Smith
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
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